Crystal Palace forward Connor Wickham believes the Old Trafford bomb scare that saw Manchester United’s final Premier League fixture delayed until Tuesday could work in their favour ahead of the FA Cup final.
United’s match – which was set to kick off at the same time as the other nine final fixtures on Sunday – was abandoned following the discovery of a device in a stadium toilet, which was later revealed to be a training device left behind by a private security company who was using it for training.
Wickham acknowledged United manager Louis van Gaal can rest his key players in the rescheduled game against AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday, knowing that their top-four hopes are all but over following Manchester City’s 1-1 draw at Swansea City on Sunday.
United would need to beat Bournemouth by 19 goals to claim a Champions League place, meaning Van Gaal is likely to played a weakened team at Old Trafford, giving his star players more days to prepare for the FA Cup decider against Palace.
“It was extraordinary what happened. Obviously there was a bit of disbelief at how quickly it all unfolded,” Wickham said.
“Now their Champions League place is pretty much gone they might play a very different team.
“Obviously they will rotate players and make a lot of changes. They will want to keep some players ticking over and give them some minutes but I’d expect them to make changes.
“We know how good United are. They are used to playing two games a week. They will be ready for us. We have to make sure we’re better than them.
“It’s more that it’s disrupted that weekend. They were ready to go out and they got evacuated. Their Champions League hopes are gone so their main focus will be on us.”
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